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(Some Guy)   And now for something completely different: An impartial, unbiased, and thorough article by ExxonMobil concludes that petroleum is the best fuel for cars   (exxonmobilperspectives.com) divider line 34
    More: Obvious, ExxonMobil, compressed natural gas, fuel economy in automobiles, diesel fuels, LNG, energy density, natural gas prices, wholesale prices  
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781 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Apr 2012 at 10:19 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-12 10:21:46 AM
ExxonMobil supports the market-driven use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. But a government push to subsidize or mandate the expanded use of natural gas in the transportation sector is a wrong turn.

The less people taking subsidies, the more sweet subsidy money there is to enjoy...
 
2012-04-12 10:25:51 AM
More doctors smoke Camel than any other cigarettes!

www.tobaccocampaign.com
 
2012-04-12 10:26:52 AM
Counterpoint: CNG is going to remain less expensive and less volatile than petroleum for the foreseeable future. You shouldn't have invested so heavily in petroleum at the expense of natural gas.

Deal with it.
 
2012-04-12 10:29:17 AM
Vehicle cost. CNG vehicles are nearly 25 percent more expensive than conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles and nearly 10 percent more expensive than hybrids, based on equivalent models.

Trivial fact that will change dramatically in the near future, as the price is directly proportional to the adoption rate.

Infrastructure cost. For American motorists to fuel up on CNG as easily as they do today on gasoline and diesel, the U.S. would need to build an entirely new network of pipelines and service stations to accommodate high-pressure fueling. In a 2010 study, IHS-CERA estimated it would cost between $8 and $12 billion to have CNG facilities installed in just 10 percent of existing U.S. fueling stations. A single CNG station costs anywhere from $300,000 to $3 million more than a regular gas station.

A fair point, but saying we shouldn't adopt any new technology because it would incur 1 time infrastructure costs is fairly absurd. Plus, the high-pressure lines could (in theory) serve duel purpose for hydrogen distribution, which is likely the true transportation fuel of the near future.

CNG has relatively low energy density; it contains nearly 70 percent less energy per gallon equivalent than gasoline or diesel. [...] Frequency and duration of fill-ups. The lower energy density of CNG also means that drivers will have to fill their tanks more frequently to go the same distance

Meaningless drivel. Build bigger fuel tanks.

Cargo space. Because of CNG's lower energy density - and its need to be kept under very high pressure - CNG vehicles are equipped with large, heavy fuel tanks (200 pounds versus 10 pounds for gasoline). These tanks reduce a car's fuel economy and its cargo capacity.

Again, meaningless drivel. Ask UPS how terribly it impacts their delivery capacity
 
2012-04-12 10:30:22 AM
I will wait for my algae fueled car.
 
2012-04-12 10:30:49 AM
What about the man with the tape recorder up his nose?
 
2012-04-12 10:35:21 AM
What has a higher energy density or delivery capacity than hydrocarbons? (delivery capacity, in this case, meaning speed to convert to usable energy)

Seriously interested, here. I don't know the math, but I'm sure someone on Fark either knows where to find it or has done it themselves.
 
2012-04-12 10:40:52 AM
What I read: "We want to keep the status quo in place so that our bottom line doesn't suffer."
 
2012-04-12 10:42:01 AM

EnviroDude: I will wait for my algae fueled car.


I'm still waiting for my

www.themeparkreview.com
 
2012-04-12 10:46:12 AM

Lost Thought 00: Again, meaningless drivel. Ask UPS how terribly it impacts their delivery capacity


You can't compare cars to trucks that only go 200 miles a day, head back to the depot every night and have the room and capacity to handle the tanks.

But, if major fleets use enough CNG, it will impact the liquid fuel prices.
 
2012-04-12 10:49:23 AM

AddictedToFoobies: What has a higher energy density or delivery capacity than hydrocarbons?


Here is a handy-dandy graph on Energy Density

upload.wikimedia.org

However, that does not tell the entire story as this graph does not account for the technological, economic and environmental characteristics of producing and capturing energy from these various fuel sources.
 
2012-04-12 10:54:08 AM
Because Greenpeace and other environmentalist groups are impartial, unbiased, and thorough, right, subby?

/MY special interest is better than YOUR special interest!
 
2012-04-12 10:56:39 AM
Of course it's best, but it's gonna run out.
 
2012-04-12 10:57:43 AM

HeadLever: AddictedToFoobies: What has a higher energy density or delivery capacity than hydrocarbons?

Here is a handy-dandy graph on Energy Density

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x457]

However, that does not tell the entire story as this graph does not account for the technological, economic and environmental characteristics of producing and capturing energy from these various fuel sources.


Wait here until I fill my tank with liquid hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?

/sorry for all the conspiracy folks but gas is still the best fuel we have. THAT is an inconvenient truth.
 
2012-04-12 11:01:27 AM
In related news, an impartial, unbiased, and thorough article by General Mills concludes that cereal is a healthier breakfast food than pancakes or eggs.
 
2012-04-12 11:02:11 AM
Id like to see more CNG adoption. Oklahoma has a 50% refundable tax credit for the cost of conversion. And their is a pump on the way to work that is currently $1.11/gallon. Really considering it.
 
2012-04-12 11:03:21 AM
I thought I'd think about this energy density one for a minute:

Energy density. Just as foods like nuts and granola bars are popular with hikers because they pack a lot of calories into a small, light package, gasoline and diesel are popular with drivers because they are the fuels with the highest energy density.

Actually, they're popular because they're ubiquitous. Why would energy density be more popular with regular drivers more than fleets operators that have switched to CNG? Do commuters prefer energy density more than fleet operators? I don't think this is a real point.

CNG has relatively low energy density; it contains nearly 70 percent less energy per gallon equivalent than gasoline or diesel.

You need to compare weights and not volumes here. CNG is in a gas form. Of course it's going to have a lower energy density per volume than a liquid. Try comparing LPG vs. gasoline.

As a result, CNG vehicles pack less horsepower.

Gross oversimplification bordering on meaninglessness.
 
2012-04-12 11:04:59 AM

HeadLever: AddictedToFoobies: What has a higher energy density or delivery capacity than hydrocarbons?

Here is a handy-dandy graph on Energy Density

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x457]

However, that does not tell the entire story as this graph does not account for the technological, economic and environmental characteristics of producing and capturing energy from these various fuel sources.


Boron? More like...uh...boron...

/got nuttin.
 
2012-04-12 11:05:49 AM

Representative of the unwashed masses: Wait here until I fill my tank with liquid hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?


There are quite a few folks that have pushed for hydrogen as a fuel source, though it has fizzled some in recent years. Remember all the buzz about fuel cells a while back? The fact remains that you never get out the energy you put into it. That being said, hydogen is an adequate fuel under some circumstances and there continues to be a push in this regard (new window).
 
2012-04-12 11:12:46 AM

Rapmaster2000: Try comparing LPG vs. gasoline.


If you look at the graph I poste above, LPG has a higher gravimetric energy density but a lower volumetric energy density. As a note, LPG is sold on a volumetric basis.
 
2012-04-12 11:14:30 AM

HeadLever: Representative of the unwashed masses: Wait here until I fill my tank with liquid hydrogen. What could possibly go wrong?

There are quite a few folks that have pushed for hydrogen as a fuel source, though it has fizzled some in recent years. Remember all the buzz about fuel cells a while back? The fact remains that you never get out the energy you put into it. That being said, hydogen is an adequate fuel under some circumstances and there continues to be a push in this regard (new window).


Don't get me wrong pilot projects that fiddle with alternative energy sources are a good idea. It helps to advance technology and one of these days a viable alternative to gas and diesel will emerge. Until then there isn't any point demonizing that sweet sweet crude. For cost, handling and delivery it still beats the available alternatives.
 
2012-04-12 11:17:30 AM

Representative of the unwashed masses:

Don't get me wrong pilot projects that fiddle with alternative energy sources are a good idea. It helps to advance technology and one of these days a viable alternative to gas and diesel will emerge. Until then there isn't any point demonizing that sweet sweet crude. For cost, handling and delivery it still beats the available alternatives.


The point isn't demonizing crude. The point is laughing at this sloppy PR release.
 
2012-04-12 11:18:50 AM

Rapmaster2000: Do commuters prefer energy density more than fleet operators?


Commuters thpically have two considerations. Economics (how much does it cost per mile) and performance.
 
2012-04-12 11:19:24 AM
FTA: Frequency and duration of fill-ups. The lower energy density of CNG also means that drivers will have to fill their tanks more frequently to go the same distance

Is this really a problem for them? You'd think their operators would be happy to have twice the number of opportunities to sell cheesy poofs and sugar water at actual profit margins.

I've always wondered... if we hadn't been using gasoline for a century, would suggesting we strap a 20-gallon thin plastic walled bomb of highly volatile hydrocarbons with no fire suppression or anything under a vehicle by two straps ever get a pass by the health, safety, and environmental inspectors today?
 
2012-04-12 11:36:45 AM

HeadLever: Rapmaster2000: Do commuters prefer energy density more than fleet operators?

Commuters thpically have two considerations. Economics (how much does it cost per mile) and performance.


Agreed. I'll add that fleet operators generally consider maintenance more than commuters as they have to put that into their planning budgets which gives CNG has lower maintenance costs due to being less dirty (less oil changes).

The question for commuters would then be "what is the cost per mile of CNG vs. gasoline/diesel"? If the price is the same, then gasoline is going to beat CNG. With the average current price of CNG at $1.89 and the average current price of gasoline at $3.89 we can do that. Let's use a Civic GX (31mpg combined) vs. a Civic base (32 mpg combined).

GX @ 31 mpg / $1.89pg = 15.87 miles per $.
Base @ 32 mpg / $3.89pg = 8.22 miles per $.

Hmm, can't be this easy. This doesn't jive with Exxon's 70% Energy Density talk.

This brings up a point. Since CNG can theoretically be compressed to different densities, wouldn't that make the "70%" very flexible?
 
2012-04-12 11:40:02 AM
In terms of personal cars, Exxon is right. That being said for fleet vehicles NG is a valid option.

The fundamental issue is that spending billions of dollars to get NG distribution up and running is stupid because NG is also limited in the amount of it we have. It's a band aid and sooner or later we have the same problem. Converting say 40% of the nation's gas stations to offer it is damn expensive and not a long term solution. However move things like long haul trucking, construction vehicles, etc to NG. That in turn reduces the demand for diesel fuel. Thus we can build more diesel cars (like the Euros do) without increasing diesel's price in a drastic fashion (commuter demand for diesel goes up, commercial demand goes down).

Electric is the future. We already have the infrastructure in place (although many of the old grids will need an upgrade). Plus the electric infrastructure is useful for other things (heating, cooling, cooking, everything your house and office need). Battery technology just isn't there yet. The trick is to find a way to deploy NG in a meaningful way (get it in the truck stops, the city bus lots, various fleet depots, etc). Plus of course then you have to get the companies to get NG powered equipment.
 
2012-04-12 12:04:24 PM

Rapmaster2000: The question for commuters would then be "what is the cost per mile of CNG vs. gasoline/diesel"? If the price is the same, then gasoline is going to beat CNG. With the average current price of CNG at $1.89 and the average current price of gasoline at $3.89 we can do that. Let's use a Civic GX (31mpg combined) vs. a Civic base (32 mpg combined).

GX @ 31 mpg / $1.89pg = 15.87 miles per $.
Base @ 32 mpg / $3.89pg = 8.22 miles per $.

Hmm, can't be this easy. This doesn't jive with Exxon's 70% Energy Density talk.


While it is a little more complicated, your basic agrument appers to be valid (new window)

Since CNG can theoretically be compressed to different densities, wouldn't that make the "70%" very flexible?

That is what makes the volumetric basis and converions so tricky. If you wanted to take that guess work out of it, you would want to move over to the graimetric side of the graph (it is also the reason that CNG is not on the graph above as it would be a vertical line as opposed to a point).
 
2012-04-12 12:09:56 PM
Latest civic GX has a 250 mile range, making it very workable as a commuting vehicle, and even reasonably practical as a longer trip vehicle.

Now we just need more CNG service stations, there's more than you think, but still not enough. If we can just get to the point to where one in ten of the stations that currently serve gasoline have a CNG pump, then we have a really workable infrastructure

.

ha-ha-guy: The fundamental issue is that spending billions of dollars to get NG distribution up and running is stupid because NG is also limited in the amount of it we have.


No fossil fuel is infinite, but your conclusion is ridiculously simplistic. We have FAR more NG then we have oil, and even conservative estimates show this being the case for the forseeable future.

It's a band aid and sooner or later we have the same problem.
"band aids" have their uses. This "band aid" eliminates a huge portion of our trade deficit, reduce the impact of some really ugly foreign policy entanglements, and give us cleaner air in the process. I like band aids like that.

Electric is the future. We already have the infrastructure in place (although many of the old grids will need an upgrade). Plus the electric infrastructure is useful for other things (heating, cooling, cooking, everything your house and office need).

Right, because there is no natural gas infrastructure in place, and unlike electricity, it has no other use...
 
2012-04-12 12:29:40 PM

dforkus: Electric is the future.


The limiting factor of electric is (and will be for going into the future) the batteries. While it is making progress, there is quite a ways to go in this regard.
 
2012-04-12 12:50:31 PM
These are serious study. Petroleums are serious business.
 
2012-04-12 01:03:07 PM
I find it amusing that Exxon complains that government subsidies for natural gas vehicles creates an uneven playing field.
 
2012-04-12 01:30:21 PM
Exxon has vested interest in both Gasoline and Natural gas. Their recent plans to acquire XTO makes it evident that they are positioning themselves to capitalize on increased NG demand. Yes, right now the bulk of their profit comes from conventional crude, but as the market shifts, so too will the fraction of their revenue from NG.

Seems to me that NG sucessfully taking off is win-win from their perspective, so why would they be biased against it if they truly thought it was economically viable?
 
2012-04-12 04:45:41 PM

Rapmaster2000: This brings up a point. Since CNG can theoretically be compressed to different densities, wouldn't that make the "70%" very flexible?


It's sold per 'GGE' or 'Gallons Gasoline Equivalent'. What they're talking about is that CNG, by volume, only has 70% of the energy. That means that the storage tank, besides needing to be a substantial pressure vessel, also needs 43% more volume in order to be able to supply the same amount of energy as gasoline.

Which explains the 70% still being consistent, efficiency or anything else - a 'gallon' of natural gas is actually around 1.43 gallons of volume, at least when the tanks are full.

Also, checking CNGPrices.com, I'm seeing a range between $2.11 and $3.00 a gallon. Keep in mind that, at least right now, most users of natural gas vehicles get substantial tax breaks - they're not paying the road taxes charged on gasoline.

HeadLever: That is what makes the volumetric basis and converions so tricky. If you wanted to take that guess work out of it, you would want to move over to the graimetric side of the graph (it is also the reason that CNG is not on the graph above as it would be a vertical line as opposed to a point).


Actually, it IS on the graph above as 'Methane at 200 bar' Google says that's 2.9k psi. Ouch...

As for batteries - I've said for years that's there's nothing wrong with electric cars that a battery that lasts twice as long for half the price wouldn't fix. Last time I checked we're about a third of the way closer. Another 40% or so off the price, another 40% or so to capacity, and we'd be there.

Lost Thought 00: Trivial fact that will change dramatically in the near future, as the price is directly proportional to the adoption rate.


Negative. I won't dispute widespread adoption making it cheaper; I dispute the 'dramatically'. The different types of fuel each have unique requirements. Handling a high pressure gas is far different, and generally more expensive, than a 'mere' flammable liquid. There are already millions of pressure tanks out there, their cost is not going to dramatically drop because more are now present in cars. There are unavoidable material and construction costs.

A fair point, but saying we shouldn't adopt any new technology because it would incur 1 time infrastructure costs is fairly absurd. Plus, the high-pressure lines could (in theory) serve duel purpose for hydrogen distribution, which is likely the true transportation fuel of the near future.

The pressure lines and equipment are likely to also incur more maintenance costs. And I'll dispute hydrogen being the transportation fuel of the 'near future', it currently has an even lower power density by volume/weight once you take the storage container into account than NG. We can't even make containers for it that don't leak. Plus, carbon-neutral generation methods are still way too inefficient and/or expensive.

CNG has relatively low energy density; it contains nearly 70 percent less energy per gallon equivalent than gasoline or diesel. [...] Frequency and duration of fill-ups. The lower energy density of CNG also means that drivers will have to fill their tanks more frequently to go the same distance

Meaningless drivel. Build bigger fuel tanks.

There's only so much room in a car. Buses and fleet vehicles get around this by being so huge that they have the space naturally.

Again, meaningless drivel. Ask UPS how terribly it impacts their delivery capacity

UPS drives around in big trucks with relatively light and limited amounts of cargo. Plus they don't actually drive that many miles a day, but have enough vehicles to have an on-site fueling station.
 
2012-04-12 05:19:00 PM

Rapmaster2000: Counterpoint: CNG is going to remain less expensive and less volatile than petroleum for the foreseeable future. You shouldn't have invested so heavily in petroleum at the expense of natural gas.

Deal with it.


The reality is that Exxon is the most heavily invested in natural gas of all the oil companies, and if not already will likely be the largest natural gas producer in the world in the near future. They are already the largest natural gas producer in the US. Natural gas is also supposed to be a large part of their upstream capital expansion budget, which is $186 billion between now and the end of 2016.
 
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